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Will the Isles make a play for Luongo?

May 30, 2013, 4:52 PM EST

On Thursday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie sent the Twitter machine into hyperdrive with a series of tweets:

Luongo started his career on Long Island — New York took him fourth overall at the 1997 NHL Entry Draft — and he appeared in 24 games for the Isles before getting shipped to Florida with Olli Jokinen in exchange for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha.

Virtually everything has changed for the Isles since then — new owner, GM, head coach and players — so it’s not like a potential reunion will be quashed by hard feelings (Luongo was upset when the Isles dealt him).

And, there are questions about New York’s long-term goalie outlook.

Brough wrote about answering them with a potential Luongo acquisition back in mid-May:

Everyone knows why they shouldn’t do this. Luongo is 34 years old and has a contract that runs through 2021-22. A year ago, this wouldn’t have even been worth discussing, as Luongo would’ve been unlikely to waive his no-trade clause to go to Long Island.

But things have changed since then.

Luongo wants to start somewhere, and New York — with a good young team and a move to a new rink coming soon — doesn’t seem like such a bad destination anymore. It’s also conceivable Isles GM Garth Snow could convince the Canucks to retain some of Luongo’s salary, assuming something of value (expect to hear Nino Niederreiter’s name pop up in trade rumors) goes to Vancouver.

So, based on McKenzie’s tweets, amend that last part to read “assuming Vancouver takes on DiPietro’s contract in return.”

The X-factor in all of this is Nabokov, who will be 38 in July.

Next to John Tavares, he was probably New York’s most important player this season — he appeared in 41 of 48 contests, won 23 and posted solid stats en route to the club’s first playoff appearance since 2007.

But in six playoff games he allowed 24 goals, finishing with a save percentage of .842, and was hooked twice in favor of Kevin Poulin.

So Luongo could definitely be a fit.

That said, the Isles could also make a play for other goalies rumored to be available — Ryan Miller, Jonathan Bernier, Mike Smith — and avoid the Luongo situation altogether.

  1. chuchie414 - May 30, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Sure why not screw over Niedterreiter one more time!

    • bcisleman - May 30, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      They didn’t screw him over at all and I doubt he gets traded.

  2. bcisleman - May 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    With good options in free agency, it is hard to imagine Isles spending major assets to acquire Luongo…although it certainly would bring things full circle and put quite a finish on the Milbury era.

    • 19to77 - May 30, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      “This is partly about acquiring a quality netminder to stay competitive in the future… but also, f*ck you, Mike. You suck at everything.”

    • imleftcoast - May 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      “shipped to Florida with Olli Jokinen in exchange for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha” what kind of hockey novice got a GM job? He must have been run out of town. “You’ll never get another job in hockey that’s for sure, your name is mud.” Amirite?

  3. pirovash88 - May 30, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    What happened to Tim Thomas going to the Islanders? Assuming he returns from his vacation.. Wouldn’t that be something?

    • elvispocomo - May 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      They aren’t going to toll his contract so it’s still valid next year. So Thomas will be a UFA on July 5.

  4. jacketsfan7 - May 30, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I’d love for nabby to come to Columbus
    He’d seem like a good fit

  5. DonkeyStick - May 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Not if they want to continue to move in the right direction.

  6. clavette - May 30, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    i hope they send thomas to vancouver. he deserves it

  7. elvispocomo - May 30, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Miller’s not what he once was, Smith will be re-signed most likely, and Bernier, well who knows what’ll happen with Bernier but LA’s not as likely to take back DiPietro just to buy him out.

    Luongo’s still a good goalie with ties to the Isles, so it makes sense in that regard and that Vancouver has the cash flow available to afford DiPietro’s buyout (since NYI certainly can’t). Add that NYI are always looking for ways to get to the cap floor and Luongo’s $5.33M cap hit helps there too. Maybe they don’t want to spend the real world money, but with some of the extra assets they have to move in trade it’s one of the more likely trading partners if both sides agree.

  8. swizzler16 - May 30, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    I think Gillis would sooner keep Luongo and trade Schneider, as opposed to trading Luongo for pennies on the dollar AND buying out DiPietro’s contract.

    • jl9830 - May 30, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      I agree that this is the smart move. Luongo will be good enough over the next few years; Schneider could net a huge return for them.

      • elvispocomo - May 30, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        That’s an arguable point. Gillis had been shopping Schneider actively in previous years, and only come playoff time last year did he get the starting role. Even then, Gillis has said he’s fielded offers on Schneider still and is willing to consider any deal that helps the team, so if a ‘huge return’ was offered, I’d think he would have taken it by now.

    • elvispocomo - May 30, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      I think you missed the point that in agreeing to take back DiPietro’s contract for Luongo they also get reasonable assets in return. Neiderreiter is just one example, but they could ask for any combination of picks and prospects to make the deal worthwhile considering the negative value of DiPietro.

  9. jl9830 - May 30, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I’d much rather Mike Smith, who would only cost money.

    • elvispocomo - May 30, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      But how much of Mike Smith is a product of Phoenix’s defensive system? Look at his numbers prior in Dallas and Tampa, and consider how good Bryz was in Phoenix before signing with Philly. Can a team give him big money like he’d be looking for and trust he’ll produce the same with them?

  10. stakex - May 30, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    For all the negativity around Luongo, hes still one of the better goalies in the NHL on most nights. If he were traded to the Islanders, he would make them a much better team almost right away.

    Nabokov played well for the Islanders during the season, but he really started to show his age in the playoffs. Given he’ll be 38 next season, I doubt the Islanders will turn to him again.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 30, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      8 million per year to be one of the best……. on most nights. Yikes! Wow! Are you breaking even on most days with your lemonade stand?

  11. pone27 - May 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    It’s a great for both sides if Van is willing to eat DPs contract and NYI is willing to deal a solid prospect and pick.

    Im pretty confident most serious isles fans would to see Robert in an Isles jersey again

    • pone27 - May 30, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      Would love*

  12. pennerismyhomeboy - May 30, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Isles would be scary with Luongo. Definitely need to get rid of that crappy Nabby. Still flopping, I see.

  13. 19to77 - May 30, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Halak’s probably up for trade. Khudobin’s a UFA, and may want to test free agency over being a backup in Boston (then again, Boston’s a contender every year, so who knows). And Ryan Miller’s probably asking for a trade too (though the cost will probably be huge). And then there’s Jonathan Bernier – same deal.

    Luongo’s contract makes him a hard sell in a sellers’ market. A lot of names potentially up for grabs, a couple at least as good as he is, and none with an endless contract weighing them down. He’s an option, but probably no-one’s first choice.

  14. blomfeld - May 31, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Person A: seriously man, like are these people truly as dumb as they sound ?

    Person B: it’s possible friend, though let’s never forget that the majority of them likely mean well …

    The bottom line is that the idea of Luongo going to the Islanders is even stupider than him signing on with the Novosibirsk Reactors! By hook or by crook, though more likely via a massive loss on the Canuckle books under the category of ‘depreciation’, this overpaid, petulant ‘cuckold’ Michelin Man will end up back in Florida, no two ways about it. The question is not ‘if’ the Canucks eat the financial bullet, but rather ‘when’ they decide to consume such ordinance. And by the way, FU Gillis …

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